Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville recently earned certification of its Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

“That means that certified programs offer the most advanced practices available and have proven track records of high-quality patient care,” said Brandie Williams, M.D., cardiologist on the Texas Health Stephenville medical staff and Consultants in Cardiology, a Texas Health Physicians Group practice.

Cardiovascular rehabilitation programs are designed to help people recover faster and live healthier lives – specifically individuals battling cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Programs involve exercise, education, counseling and support for patients and their families.

“We realize that when it comes to health care, individuals have choices,” said Christopher Leu, Texas Health Stephenville president. “We are humbled and appreciative that the people of Erath County have entrusted us with their care and the care of their loved ones. This recognition is a wonderful testament to the hard work of the cardiac rehab team. And its patient care is directed by quality standards and national guidelines.”

To earn accreditation, which is valid for three years, Texas Health Stephenville’s cardiac rehab program participated in an application process that requires extensive documentation of the program’s practices. Key performance measures include:

Optimal blood pressure control Improvement in depression Tobacco cessation intervention Improvement in functional (physical) capacity “Out of all the factors that determine quality of life for a person with cardiovascular disease, improvement in functional capacity from exercising is the most powerful,” Williams said. “In our program, patients have the comfort in knowing that while they exercise, an EKG monitors vital signs, and their every step is monitored and medically supervised by cardiovascular nurses, exercise physiologists and respiratory therapists. The cardiac rehab program constantly helps patients achieve better cardiac health. It’s well-deserved recognition.”